LAGOS—Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to “promote a rights-based approach to healthcare for millions of disadvantaged Nigerians to control and combat the Ebola disease.”
In a statement by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said: “We note that the government’s reaction so far has contributed to curtailing the spread of the disease. But the inadequacy of a reactive approach to the problem is illustrated by the low survival rates of victims here in the country when compared to those in countries with developed and functioning healthcare systems.
“The unfortunate reality is that the full enjoyment of the right to health still remains a distant goal for millions of Nigerians especially those who continue to live in poverty as a result of years of mismanagement and high level official corruption.
“This problem is further exacerbated by the absence of functioning public health and health-care facilities, grossly insufficient resources and official corruption. The result is that payment for basic healthcare remains beyond the reach of majority of Nigerians,” the organization said.
According to the organization, “The Ebola outbreak provides an opportunity for the government to formulate a coherent health policy that is based on human rights principles. And President Jonathan needs to urgently provide the leadership to make this happen. As a starting point, the President should now publicly support the inclusion of a legally enforceable right to healthcare in the constitution.”